India Women vs South Africa Women: Visitors take unassailable 3-1 lead after record-breaking chase

India Women vs South Africa Women 4th ODI: A brilliant batting effort by South Africa Women helped them tumble India in the fourth encounter of the ongoing five-match ODI series in Lucknow on Sunday. The Laura Wolvaardt-led South African unit wrapped up the stiff 267-run chase with eight balls to spare and won the contest by seven wickets.

With this win, the visitors have now taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series and the final clash will be played on Wednesday. This was also South Africa’s highest successful run-chase in ODIs. 

The proceedings of the fourth encounter kicked-off with South Africa winning the toss and inviting the hosts to bat first. Jemimah Rodrigues, who has so far had an unforgetable series so far, was not picked in the playing XI, while veteran seamer Jhulan Goswami was also not fielded in the line-up.  

However, in-form batswoman Punam Raut continued her rich vein of form with an unbeaten 104 while Harmanpreet Kaur smashed a blazing half-century as the Indian women’s team posted a challenging 266/4 in 50 overs. 

Punam, who notched up half centuries in the previous two outings, compiled a 123-ball 104 to bring up her third century in the format. Harmanpreet blazed away to 54 off 35 balls, hitting seven fours and a six, while skipper Mithali Raj scored a 71-ball 45 to become the first player to complete 7,000 runs in women’s ODIs.  

For South Africa, Tumi Sekhukhune (2/63) was the most successful bowler while Shabnim Ismail (1/50), Nondumiso Shangase (1/41) picked a wicket each.  

In response to India’s 266, the opening pair of Lizelle Lee and South Africa skipper Wolvaardt provided the visitors with a brilliant start as the duo combined to add 116 for the opening wicket. Lee was the first batswoman to depart after she was trapped LBW by Harmanpreet on 69 off 74 balls in the 23rd over. 

Soon after her dismissal, seamer Mansi Joshi provided the hosts with another breakthrough in the form of Wolvaardt, who departed after scoring a fine half-century. 

Following that, India failed to inflict further blows on the opposition as the new pair of Lara Goodall and Mignon du Preez stitched 103 runs for the third wicket. Rajeshwari Gayakwad picked the third wicket for India, dismissing Du Preez on 61. 

Godall along with Marizanne Kapp then wrapped up the contest with the former remaining unbeaten on 59 from 66 balls, while Kapp fetched 22 from 18 balls.   

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Sagar Biswas

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